Chariots of Fire

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Chariots of Fire is a 1981 film directed by Hugh Hudson, and the winner of four Academy Awards including best picture.

Directed by Hugh Hudson. Written by Colin Welland.

Eric Liddell[edit]

  • Then where does the power come from, to see the race to its end? From within.
  • I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.
  • [to a competitor] Good luck. Don't suppose I'll see you 'til after the race...

Harold M. Abrahams[edit]

  • I am a Cambridge man, first and last. I am an Englishman, first and last. What I have achieved – what I intend to achieve – is for my family, my university, and my country.
  • You, Aubrey are my most complete man. You're brave, compassionate, kind: a content man. That is your secret, contentment; I am 24 and I've never known it. I'm forever in pursuit and I don't even know what I am chasing.
  • And now in one hour's time, I will be out there again. I will raise my eyes and look down that corridor; 4 feet wide, with 10 lonely seconds to justify my existence. But will I?
  • That was the miscalculation of my life.
  • He is a strong man but is unsure about his religion.


Sybil Gordon: Why running?
Harold M. Abrahams: Why singing?
Sybil Gordon: My job. [pause] No. No, that's silly. I do it because I love it.
[Harold nods]
Sybil Gordon: You love running?
Harold M. Abrahams: I'm more of an addict.

Harold M. Abrahams: If I can't win, I won't run!
Sybil Gordon: If you won't run, you can't win.

Harold M. Abrahams: [About Eric Liddel] I've never seen such drive, such devotion in a runner. He runs like a wild animal. He unnerves me.
Sam Mussabini: As well he should. He frightens the living daylights out of me. [chuckles]
Harold M. Abrahams: Yes, well, I want you to help me take him on.
Sam Mussabini: [thinks a moment] Tell me, Mr. Abrahams, are you married?
Harold M. Abrahams: No. Why?
Sam Mussabini: Well, when the right woman comes along, how would you feel if she pops the question? [quiet laugh] Ya'see, Mr. Abrahams, like the bridegroom, it's the coach should do the asking.
Harold M. Abrahams: [very serious] Mr. Mussabini...I can run fast. With your help I believe I can run even faster. I want that Olympic medal. Now I can see it there. It's waiting for me. But I can't get it on my own.

Sam Mussabini: Eric Liddell? He's no real problem...
Harold M. Abrahams: You could have fooled me.
[Eric has already beaten Harold once]
Sam Mussabini: Yeah, he's fast! But he won't go any faster; not in the dash, anyway. He's a gut runner, all heart, digs deep! But a short sprint is run on nerves. It's tailor-made for neurotics.
Harold M Abrahams: [deadpan] Thanks very much.

Sam Mussabini: Do you want to know why you lost today?
[Harold nods]
Sam Mussabini: You're over striding. Just a couple of inches.
[Sets coins in a row]
Sam Mussabini: Now these coins represent the steps in your sprint.
[Pushes coin together]
Sam Mussabini: Have you got another two coins, Mr. Abrahams? Well, maybe we can find 'em.
[Harold looks up]
Sam Mussabini: Remember, over striding – death for the sprinter.
[shakes his head]
Sam Mussabini: Slap in the face, each step you take. Knocks you back.
[Slaps Harold across the cheek. Harold winces]
Sam Mussabini: Like that!
[Slaps Harold again]
Sam Mussabini: And that!
[Sam laughs and grabs Harold by the arm]

Sam Mussabini: [to Harold in training] I want you to pretend you're running on hot bricks: if you leave your feet to long on the ground, they'll get burned! Pop, pop, pop! Light, light, light as a feather!

[The athletes are playing cricket in the ballroom of their hotel. Henry Stallard is the umpire; Aubrey Montague bowls a delivery to Eric Liddell, batting]
Henry Stallard: No ball!
Harold M. Abrahams: [desperate to get into bat] Come on, Aubrey, the old leg-break!
[Aubrey bowls another delivery, which deceivingly appears to have gotten Eric out]
Harold M. Abrahams: How zat!
Henry Stallard: Not out!
Harold M. Abrahams: What do you mean, not out? You could have heard it from bloody Bournemouth! Come on, Liddell, my innings.
Eric Liddell: I didn't touch it, I swear; it must've been the crack of my wrist!
Harold M. Abrahams: He's out I tell you, you're all deaf - deaf and bloody blind! Aubrey I ask you, for God's sake!
[No response from Aubrey, dramatic pause]
Harold M. Abrahams: [punching the air] It's not FAIR!
[The athletes break into laughter, Abrahams eventually joining them]

Harold M. Abrahams: And now in one hour's time, I will be out there again. I will raise my eyes and look down that corridor; 4 feet wide, with 10 lonely seconds to justify my whole existence. But will I?

Harold M. Abrahams: Aubrey, I've known the fear of losing but now I am almost too frightened to win.

Lord Andrew Lindsay: [about the Prince of Wales] Protocol, Monty, protocol. He is here to show us what may be done, and, more essentially, what may not be.

Lord Birkenhead: Ah, Liddell! I was afraid you weren't here.
Eric Liddell: I'm afraid I am, sir.


  • This is the story of two men who run... not to run... but to prove something to the world. They will sacrifice anything to achieve their goals... Except their honour.
  • Two men chasing dreams of glory!

With Wings on their Heels and Hope in their Hearts.

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